Enjoyable Employment

Vocational Training for Veterans

Free Expressive Arts Vocational Skills Training that Lead to Enjoyable Employment for Veterans, Military, and Their Youth, Age 13 Up.


Learn Skills In:

Graphic Design

We have free online training courses for Veterans and their families in Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator.

Media Production

Video production is a valuable vocational skill to have in todays visual world. Our Headmaster, Lyle Dillie, is an amazing filmmaker and teaches our members how to become videographers.

Professional Skills

Our Headmaster, Lyle Dillie, is a Digital Arts professor at Estrella Mountain College and he teaches all of our Expressive Arts Vocational Skills Training classes through our online portal. Join to become a member and register for classes.

Website Design and Development

WordPress is an excellent platform for websites. Our Headmaster teaches how to create amazing websites using all the powerful tools WordPress offers.

About Our Program

Creative Drill Sergeants (CDS) is a Veteran Owned and Operated 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides our Veterans with economic empowerment and stability through Operation Enjoyable Employment, a Vocational Rehabilitation Workforce Development program that encompasses the most important aspect of Chronic Care Management and successful reintegration; Economic Stability.

Free training courses for Veterans and their youth age 13 up in the Expressive Arts categories of Graphics and Media Arts that include; Film, Photography, Graphic Design and Printing, Website Development and Maintenance, Sound Engineering, Video Production, Music Production and more; Expressive Arts industry skills that lead to enjoyable employment.

Classes Offered
Veterans Served
Years In The Making

Why Become A Member?

Why Should You Join Operation Enjoyable Employment? Many service members leaving the military are not prepared for the transition and have a wide range of needs that the CDS Mission and Vision address by providing multifaceted approaches to the reintegration of Veterans and their families. We also collaborate with many other mission complimentary organizations to provide, quickly, resources that assist with the transition into civilian life. We provide reintegration assistance by providing creative technical skills training to assist with procuring enjoyable employment. Many of our Veteran students have never attended college, some never finished high school, and for those who did reach higher levels of educational attainment, it may have been many years since their last academic experience. CDS will provide a high-quality education program in several areas to include; Expressive Arts, Mentoring, and Holistic Healing. We meet adult learners where they are at through the intake process that allows us to provide education strategies that include creative technical and basic skills development instruction. We are assisting Veterans that may not have had educational success in the past, or have been away from education for some time with the necessary motivational support, through mentorship, to build their self-confidence and be successful. After completion of a minimum of 16 weeks of training in our collegiate level courses, our Graphics and Media Arts Headmaster selects the most qualified graphics and media artist to independently contract and perform jobs for our Mission Support Program (MSP) Member Clients. Experiential knowledge is gained by taking MSP Member Client jobs from development to implementation-design to print/publication. VAEP artists receive 70% of net profit (minus production costs) and CDS retains 30% of net profit to cover operations of the VAEP.

About Expressive Arts

Expressive Arts research shows it to be effective at augmenting traditional trauma interventions because it provides creative outlets that enhance attention and awareness abilities in productive, corrective ways to promote healing, thus mitigating trauma potentials during reintegration into civilian life. The CDS Expressive Arts Instruction and Outreach (EAIO) Programs not only promote healing and teach self-advocacy but also translate into positive economic changes for our EAU Members. when learning Expressive Arts skills that lead to enjoyable employment and increase their capacities for career success within the Arts Fields. Our EAU Members learn valuable industry knowledge from our mentors to build networks, start new careers, gain practical work experience, and earn extra income by participating in our Mission Support Program (MSP) Veteran Artist Employment Project (VAEP). Expressive Arts Instruction, employment skills, life skills, holistic healing education, and Trauma-Informed Care assist CDS and our Instructors and mentors to support our EAU Members suffering from trauma and reintegration issues by eliminating barriers — such as stigmas associated with mental health issues and disabilities – through creative expression to achieve post-service success.
“The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are the longest combat operations since Vietnam. The length and nature of these conflicts create many stressors that face Veterans who have served, increasing the chances of having PTSD or other mental health problems. Initial research on OEF/OIF Veterans suggests that between 10% and 18% of OEF/OIF troops are likely to have PTSD (in varying severity) after they return. Though the recent overall Veteran unemployment rate is considered to be low, the unemployment rate for OIF/OEF Veterans with PTSD is believed to be considerably higher. Among 18–24 year olds, the unemployment rate is nearly four points higher among those who have served (16.2%) than those who have not (12.5%). Our most recent generation of Veterans — some as young as 21- and 22-years old — who grapple with severe PTSD are most likely to be unemployed, and their employment status can adversely affect their PTSD.” Source: Click Here

Arts help Veterans heal”: The arts can address one of the reasons a service member or veteran might avoid seeking treatment, since when using the arts, individuals can experience or express their thoughts and feelings without necessarily having to talk about or directly confront the trauma, if they are not ready. One of the most difficult experiences is the transition from military to civilian life. Approximately 14 percent of service members returning from Iraq or Afghanistan meet criteria for depression. Left untreated, depression can increase the chance of risky behaviors, damage relationships, create problems on the job, make it difficult to overcome serious illnesses or even lead to suicide (http://www.naco.org/articles/guest–column–arts–helpVeterans–heal).


Join The Expressive Arts Unit!

We utilize comradery, mentorship, Trauma Informed Care Practices, holistic healing modalities and workshops, as well as expressive arts modalities to help prevent homelessness and suicides among Veterans, especially those with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Military Sexual Trauma (MST) and other mental and physical issues. CDS Staff and volunteers utilize Trauma Informed Care Practices to help our Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Military Sexual Trauma (MST) and other mental and physical issues avoid factors that lead to homelessness and suicides. We strive for a self-transformative healing experience for our Veterans and their families; healing together as cohesive units through Expressive Arts, coping skills, life skills and Holistic mind-body philosophies and practices for successful reintegration into civilian life.